A READER ASKS: Synchronizing Windows

From Dwayne Wright - Certified FileMaker 10 Developer
WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright

My apologies for imposing on your time with this, but I've searched and can't find an answer to what I thought would be a simple issue:

I have two windows open on a database: One in Table view, showing dozens of records, the other in Form view showing the details on one record at a time.

I would have thought that they would be coordinated automatically: that is, if I advance one record in the table view, the Form view would also advance to the next record. As a matter of fact, until an hour ago I would have sworn they did indeed behave in that manner! Now they are not, and I cannot see an option to adjust this. Is there a choice? Did I break a default somehow?

I can't believe that many if not most FM users would want the two views
coordinated as I described.

Thank you in advance for any advice you provide --


Well, FileMaker’s default windowing actions do not work like you described and I think most of us are glad it doesn’t. In most cases, we are not looking at the same found set in two different windows. Many of us have two windows open because we want entirely different perspective views of the data in order to make a more informed decision doing various business tasks.

But, I see where you are going and it is quite interesting! Just because FileMaker doesn’t work that way by default, you don’t have to accept it! Stretch your development muscles just a bit and you can script the action you described. It wouldn’t be that hard to do! In FileMaker 10, it could even be associated with a script trigger on record load.

You would need to give both open windows unique window names. Then a change in one window would run a script to synchronize that same change in the other window. Simple record to record changes could be easily synched but other more drastic changes (such as found set / sort order changes) might more challenging. I guess you could try using some windowing magic where ...

- the position of the other window is recorded and then closed
- the first window spawns a new window and then mimics the display / position of the recently closed window
- then goes back to the original window

More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

© 2009 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

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